February 14, 2008

What effects will EURO 2008 have on Austria and Switzerland?

UEFA EURO 2008 in Switzerland and Austria is rapidly approaching. For example, I’ve already noticed many interesting “renewals” here in Zurich. Here are a couple of examples:

* A new, impressive and open multifunctional arena, Letzigrund, has been built (here’s a photo from Flickr). And the infrastructure around the arena has also been improved. On the Letzigrund website, I read this about the arena: "Openair Konzerte, internationales Leichtathletik-Meeting Zürich, Fussball, Gruppenspiele EURO 2008... Der Letzigrund ist auch Treffpunkt für die Bevölkerung von Zürich und Trainingsbasis für den Breitensport. Als Kulturstadion ist der Letzigrund Plattform für Kunst- und Kulturevents..."

* Freibad Letzigraben, the swimming facilities right next to Letzigrund, has been renewed in an extraordinary way. The place, that offers something for people with many different interests, could be one way for people to cool off, read, stay fit, be with friends and family etc. between the football games.

* Several trams in Zurich have been coloured in inspiring ways. For example, I have noticed green Carlsberg trams, as well as red and white Coca-Cola, Swiss, and Credit Suisse Trams. With their bright colours, the trams sort of light up the entire city in a positive way. The photo below is from Flickr. And not only does the outside of the trams add life to the city. The other day, I was in a tram equipped with flight seats from Swiss. Great idea – a bit like flying through the city :-)

Thinking about the positive effects that an event like the UEFA EURO 2008 has on a city like, for example, Zurich, I’d like to ask you what effect UEFA EURO 2008 - as you see it - will have on Austria and Switzerland after the event? Will everything go back to normal, or will people in the 2 countries continue to renew/develop/innovate – thereby attracting people and capital from all over the world to new, exciting initiatives? What do you think? If you have some suggestions for people to continue trying out new things and thereby keeping up the innovative spirit, then please feel free to communicate them.

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